If you’re like most people, you’re not sure what happens if someone files a false police report – is it a crime, and if it is, can you go to jail for it?
Here’s what you need to know.
What Happens if You File a False Police Report?
You can get in trouble for filing a false police report in Illinois, whether you’re under the age of 18 or you’re an adult.
You might remember that “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was facing serious criminal charges stemming from filing a false police report in early 2019, when he told police that two people beat him up in the street.
Filing a false police report can fall under the crime of disorderly conduct, and it can be a felony. That’s because when someone files a false police report, it takes police resources to investigate. Under Illinois law, filing a false police report can carry a penalty of 1 to 3 years in prison.
See Attorney Matt Fakhoury Discuss the Jussie Smollett Case on CNN
You may want to talk to a Chicago, Skokie or Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer about your situation. Your attorney can help clear things up and make sure the judge in your case gets to hear your side of the story.
Why is Filing a False Police Report Considered Disorderly Conduct?
The definition of disorderly conduct includes actions that:
- Waste public resources
- Alarm or disturb others
- Cause unnecessary public fear or stress
Sometimes people file a police report believing wholeheartedly that what they’re telling the police is true – but sometimes people do file false police reports with the intent to cause trouble. Whether you believed the police report you were filing was 100 percent correct at the time or you made a mistake and made up or exaggerated a story to tell police, you may need a lawyer’s help.
Were You Accused of Filing a False Police Report in Illinois?
If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct because you filed what police say is a false police report, we may be able to help you.
Call us right away at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below. We’ll talk to you about your case, answer your questions, and start building a defense that gets you the best possible outcome.